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Q: Mozilla Mail Program ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Mozilla Mail Program
Category: Computers
Asked by: stuartlindsay-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 25 Jul 2003 10:25 PDT
Expires: 24 Aug 2003 10:25 PDT
Question ID: 235047
I need to find out how to archive mail files (and the associated
attachments) in the Mozilla mail program.  There appears to be no tool
to archive, and the personal (local) mail folders appear to be hidden.
 I have several GB of mail and attachments, and so far, deleting old
mail has been all I can do.
Subject: Re: Mozilla Mail Program
Answered By: haversian-ga on 29 Jul 2003 20:14 PDT
Good evening stuartlindsay-ga!

Your profile, which as amigasteve noted, is stored in C:\Documents and
Settings\[username]\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\default\[random
letters and numbers].slt\  (assuming you have only one user profile
registered in Mozilla.  If you have more than one, let me know), has
everything you need.

Within that profile directory is a file called abook.mab which is part
of your address book that you might want to back up.  Within the mail
folder you will have two or more folders.  Firstly, Local Folders
which contains the so-called local folders: drafts, sent, templates,
trash, and unsent messages.  Each folder will have two files, 'folder
name' and 'folder name.msf'.

Also in the mail folder is one folder for each mail server you have
configured in Mozilla.  Likely there will be only one.  This folder
will have many sub-folders and files, depending on how many folders
you have created within Mozilla mail to sort your mail into.  Copying
these files and folders will back this all up for you.

Unless you are planning on compressing the files when you back them
up, such as with winzip or winrar, you should let Mozilla compress
them for you.  In mozilla mail, go to the left pane that has all your
folders listed.  Right-click on each of the folders you plan to back
up, and select 'Compact This Folder'.  That will reduce the size of
your mail files by quite a bit and make the backups a bit easier. 
Then you can find the mail files as above and copy them wherever you

My network connection here (wireless) is starting to fade so I'm going
to sign off.  I'll get back to you with something more like a real
HOW-TO with screenshots to show what I'm trying to say, if I can find
one.  In the meantime, if you run through what I've written and let me
know if you need anything else, I'll get you that too.

Thanks for the question - always a pleasure to help a fellow Mozilla


Request for Answer Clarification by stuartlindsay-ga on 08 Aug 2003 14:45 PDT
Thanks for this: I finally found the directories, but only text
versios of the mail.  I cannot find where the attachment files (most
of the storage problem) are kept.  This is also a problem because
Mozilla won't let me drag the attached files out (as can be done with
Outlook) so I need to access the directories to correct the famous mac
vs. pc file ext problems.

Thanks for any help you can give me.


Clarification of Answer by haversian-ga on 26 Aug 2003 18:43 PDT
Hello again

I apologize for the delay.  Somewhere along the way, the messages
Google sends me that someone has requested a clarification are getting

Your attachments are stored in the files in your profile's mail
folder.  Attachments to messages in your inbox are in the file called
inbox along with the plain text of those emails.  If you're curious,
you can open the file up in a text editor like notepad, and look for
the line that starts an attachment.  For example, a word document
mailed to me from a mac begins:

Content-Type: application/msword; name="aworddocument.doc";
 x-mac-type="42494E41"; x-mac-creator="4D535744"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="aworddocument.doc"

That is followed by a big chunk of gibberish which is the (encoded)
content of the file.

So, when you back up your mail files in the directories I mentioned,
you are also getting your attachments.  They are not stored as
separate files, but are actually a part of the email they came from. 
This makes it harder to separate out just your attachments, but it
also keeps everything in one place, making it  harder to accidently
separate an email from its attachments.

Should your mail on your hard drive get corrupted or deleted, you
simply move the backed-up mail folder from CD or tape or wherever you
store your backups back to your profile directory.  All your
attachments and whatnot will be there just as they were when you made
the backup.

I hope this has been helpful, and again I apologize for the delay in
responding to you,

Subject: Re: Mozilla Mail Program
From: amigasteve-ga on 25 Jul 2003 13:09 PDT
Much of what you seek can be found on and also in the
support sections of as Netscape 6.x and 7.x is based
almost entirely on Mozilla.

You dont mention your platform but assuming you are on a PC you need
to look in your profile folder. Assuming you have XP or windows 2000
it will be in a path similar to the one on my PC:

C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application
Data\Mozilla\Profiles\default\[random letters and numbers].slt\Mail

note the you should replace [username] with YOUR username and the
prefex to the  .SLT folder is (seemingly) generated randomly.

That contains all of your mail. there may be further folders labeled
with "local mail" and perhaps the server name of your mail server.

Each mailbox is represented by TWO files IE: inbox and inbox.msf.

the .msf file contains some metadata about the mailbox and *MAY* not
be completely necessary for the mailbox to function.

Backing up these files and then removing them FROM WITHIN MOZILLA MAIL
will clear space on your hard drive.

One thing to note the mailbox file format is plain text, so you can
open them in any application that opens text files. If you see big
chunks of what seems to be nonsense data, that is the encoded
attachment. So YES the attachment cannot be (easily) separated from
the message it was attached to.

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